Why do you need to upgrade Microsoft Dynamics AX?
For many businesses, the idea of undertaking an upgrade can be daunting – especially if they have faced long, costly implementations in the past. Additionally, Microsoft AX as it currently stands is operating normally for the majority of organizations, and if this is the case, what is the need to upgrade?
It’s true, Dynamics AX may not be causing problems for organizations currently, however, there is no guarantee that it won’t in the future. While this is true of any ERP system, it’s particularly applicable to Dynamics AX users.
Microsoft is ending mainstream support for Dynamics AX 2012 in October 2021.
This means that from October 2021, you will no longer be able to access support from Microsoft if something goes wrong with your solution. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to access support, however – there are still many Microsoft partners that will be able to offer managed services of Dynamics AX, and Microsoft themselves will also offer paid support.
That being said, doing this could become costly, and won’t be sustainable in the long term. Microsoft has long since stopped enhancing Dynamics AX, meaning that the application is becoming more obsolete over time. Additionally, with an increased number of businesses making the move to the cloud, continuing to maintain the infrastructure of your on-premise Dynamics AX solution puts you at a disadvantage to your competitors.
Moving to a completely web-and-cloud-based solution such as Dynamics 365 is the only way to keep your business from falling behind. Dynamics 365 is updated and enhanced on a regular basis and is completely supported by Microsoft as one of their leading products. This means that if there is an issue in your Dynamics 365 solution, your business won’t feel the damaging effects of having to come to a complete standstill, as Microsoft (or your Managed service provider) will be able to fix the problem – without the additional charges you will receive when requesting support for Dynamics AX.
Ultimately, no matter how well your Microsoft AX solution is working currently, issues will arise at some point. When support officially expires and the solution becomes obsolete, it could cause huge problems for your business.
That’s why choosing an upgrade to Dynamics 365 remains your best option moving forward. One of the great drivers for an upgrade to Dynamics 365 is that once you upgrade, you won’t have to do it again – so why wait any longer? Around 95% of all Dynamics 365 customers do the update and stay current, so the results of doing an upgrade speak for themselves.
However, in order to commit to undertaking the upgrade, you need to be confident that Dynamics 365 is the best fit solution for your business. Let’s take a look at how Dynamics 365 compares to its predecessor, to help you decide if it is the solution for you.
There are extended support options available for $100,000-150,000 a year which would extend your coverage beyond mainstream support. Once a product transitions from mainstream to extended support, the support is limited to self-service and paid options. Extended support includes the following:
Ability to purchase a paid support agreement
Security update support
Non-security hotfix support (If extended hotfix agreement is purchased within 90 days of ending Mainstream support)
Self Service Support (Microsoft Knowledge Base & Microsoft Help & Support Site)
Extended Support will expire as well.
The end dates for Extended Support are as follows:
- Dynamics AX 2012 – 10/12/21 – that is less than one year!
- Dynamics AX 2012 R2 – 10/12/21
- Dynamics AX 2012 R3 – 01/10/23
Why would I spend the money to upgrade to Dynamics 365?
We believe many AX customers can realize positive ROI by planning for the right upgrade to Dynamics 365 for Operations. Choosing to upgrade to D365 will help you:
Reduce infrastructure costs by moving to the cloud
The cloud model offers monthly subscription fees vs the large up-front cost
New features and functionality, including embedded BI and availability on mobile devices
Moving to the cloud allows for scalability and growth at your own rate
Reduce customizations by around 40% (especially if you’ve made customizations around BI, manufacturing, or retail)
Stability and Security of Azure, including disaster recovery
A new user interface that will boost productivity
Never budget for an upgrade or implementation again
Leverage the capabilities of Power Apps and Flow to enable business workflows that were not possible in AX or CRM
Not excited about the cloud? An on-prem version of Dynamics 365 for Operations is available in June
Do Nothing and Hope for the Best?
We can understand the hesitation to upgrade if Dynamics AX is working well for you. Just be sure to understand what not upgrading means to you. Educate yourself on exactly what Microsoft will and won’t do once Mainstream Support ends. Pay attention to how many customizations you’re making to keep up with industry demands. And communicate with your partner to understand how much ongoing help you can expect with Dynamics AX in terms of licensing, development, and ongoing maintenance and support.
While there is no single right answer to this challenge for all Dynamics AX customers, the one approach that will not work is to do nothing. If your organization hasn’t yet done so, take stock of your current status and work with your partner to make a plan for the future.